Former Ottawa Senators player Alex Formenton, who now plays in Switzerland, has been charged by police in London, Ontario, according to his lawyer. The charges are in connection with an accusation made in 2018, and Formenton plans to vigorously defend his innocence.
Video footage shows Formenton entering a London police station with his legal representation, wearing a grey jacket, dark pants, and white shoes. He made no comment.
Formenton is one of five players from Canada’s 2018 world junior team who have recently taken indefinite leave from their pro clubs. The leave comes after reports that five members of that roster were asked to surrender to face sexual assault charges.
The charges are believed to be connected to an alleged group sexual assault of a woman in a London hotel room in 2018. However, none of the allegations have been proven in court.
It is important to note that no charges relating to the 2018 incident have been filed in court, according to the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General. The Canadian Press also has no information connecting the players’ leaves to the ongoing investigation.
Formenton, who was drafted by the Senators in 2017, had a successful season in 2021-2022 with a career-high 18 goals and 32 points. However, he was unable to reach a new deal as a restricted free agent and signed with HC Ambri-Piotta in Switzerland.
The incident in question is alleged to have occurred following a Hockey Canada gala in June 2018, where the players were honored for their victory in that year’s world junior tournament.
The aftermath of the incident has had significant repercussions for Hockey Canada. A woman identified as E.M. filed a lawsuit in 2022, which was quickly settled out of court. This, along with revelations about Hockey Canada’s fund for uninsured liabilities, including sexual assault claims, led to a backlash against the organization and parliamentary hearings.
The London police initially closed the investigation in 2019 without filing charges but reopened it in 2022. Hockey Canada and the NHL also conducted their own investigations into the incident.
All players from the 2018 junior team have been excluded from international events, and Hockey Canada has paid out $7.6 million in settlements related to sexual abuse and assault since 1989.
The case involving Formenton and the other players remains ongoing, and further updates are expected at a press conference scheduled for February 5, 2024.